Monday, September 25, 2006


    It was great fun to spend the past two weekends with our friends in Jackson. Sometimes I really wish we lived nearer to them. And then we have days here when we really love living in a small town. I guess it all comes down to people.     Hubby worked most of Saturday and had one more yard to do on Sunday, but the day began with an early storm, so he suggested we go do our shopping (which had been on the schedule for after he finished). I learned two lessons:         1) NEVER go to Wal-Mart or Sam's after Sunday morning church services end;         2) Original plans are often best.     I have a tendency toward panic attacks in some crowded situations. Not all. For example, I could be on a crowded bus in Mexico, no problem. Perhaps it is just when there is movement around me, or when *I* need to be moving and can't?? I don't know. I just know it happens most frequently in WM when there are lots of people shopping.     Sweet hubby doesn't understand, but is sympathetic, as usual. And honestly, he was right when he observed that it didn't really seem that crowded to him. So, I don't know what was going on yesterday, I just got the groceries as fast as possible, did my best to avoid congested aisles and got the heck out of there. In Sam's, where we actually went first, I saw a continual flow of people coming into the store as I waited at the entrance while hubby to parked the truck. I told him I didn't want to shop, just get the water and leave. Fortunately it is at the front of the store AND near the bathrooms, ironically. So I guess I was already 'primed' when we went next door to WM.     Which brings me to lesson 2. If we hadn't changed our plan -- and in fact, he probably could have done the mowing in the morning -- we would not only have missed the church crowd (violating their "Sabbath"*), but we would have eaten at the Chinese buffet instead of having Sunday brunch at O'Charley's. What I ordered did not agree with me, and I had to order something else. Of course, hubby remarked he would have eaten too much at the buffet, so for him it worked out well even though his eggs were burned. Okay, not burned, but way overdone!     This morning I finally got 'on the mat' and learned another lesson: my arms are too short for my body. More importantly, yoga is very hard on my wrists.     Two weeks ago I started weekly yoga lessons at the community college across the street (missed the first class because I went on the wrong day). I have also been recording Namaste Yoga off the FitTV channel, though I haven't watched but one of them thoroughly. I will copy them to VHS, removing the commercial breaks, and then, I think, to DVD. On Sunday, I picked up two DVDs at Ross Dress for Less: Crunch - The Perfect Yoga Workout: The Joy of Yoga & Fat-Burning Yoga with Sara Ivanhoe and Baron Baptiste's Journey into Power: Power Vinyasa Yoga, Level 1     I have watched them both and really like the presentors and the routines. They sure do make it look easy! However, when I tried to work along today, I discovered it all looks much easier than it is. Like I said, my arms are too short for some of the hand placements. My leg muscles are way too tight for my heels to reach the floor in, for example, Downward Facing Dog. BUT, even though I couldn't do the whole thing -- once my hands gave out, I fast-forwarded to the poses that didn't involved placing weight on the hands -- I did feel good when I was done.     Now I'm taping off the Namaste episodes (and wearing my HandEze gloves). Some of the routine have NO poses placing weight on the hands! I will try one of those tomorrow. I also draggged out my mid-eastern dance videos. I thought I only had one, Goddess Workout with Dolphina, but I also have her Introduction to Belly Dance. I'm thinking that doing a yoga routine three mornings a week (only two until my class ends in three more weeks though) and dance two days a week will make up for not getting the exercise I used to walking around on campus and at work in the library.     I've joined both the Swallowtail KAls, but haven't yet gotten back to my own knitting of it. The short toe socks are still distracting me (as is catching up on reading the list of blogs in my Favorites folder). The Yellow-Pink-Orange ball of Sockotta I am using now is self-striping, where the blue-purple-green colorway just pooled. When I started the second sock with the YPO, I didn't move to the correct place in the color sequence. So, of course, now I have to make another two socks, each matching the color sequence of the two already completed. Being gone so long yesterday, and reading blogs so much, I only finished one of them. I'm about ready to cast on for the fourth sock in the YPO colorway as soon as I finish this post. Then perhaps later today I will get to the Swallowtail... I heard from the seller yesterday by email, and my Misti Alpaca is on it's way. Maybe I can finish this shawl and be ready to start another when it arrives. Cyn *I know true Sabbath is Saturday, and that Christians don't observe it like Jews, but many Christians DO erroneously call Sunday the Sabbath, and most believe at least to some extent that it is wrong to work on Sunday. To my mind, there is something just a little inconsistent and contradictory if you are shopping (or eating out) on Sunday and you believe it is sinful work on Sunday. YMMV

Saturday, September 23, 2006

my 1st KAL

    I was wasting time tonight, clicking through an old folder of blog links (and finding about half of them gone) when I found, on Bronx Girl Knits, a link to a knit-a-long for the shawl I began last week. Actually there are two KALs -- I read through all the posts for each, but not all the comments.
    I doubled-checked my own blog and discovered I had not mentioned beginning this project. Sorry.
    It's the Swallowtail shawl in the current issue (Fall 2006) of IKnits by Evelyn A. Clark. While I await the arrival of the called-for yarn, Misti Alpaca, I started one with some lace-weight natural wool on a cone which I bought a couple years ago. The knitting, like anything that grows by eight stitches every two rows, goes fast at first. Now it is 200+ and going a bit slower.     It's funny that yarn isn't here yet. I bought the Regia Stretch from the same lady, and the alpaca should have been on its way a couple days later. Perhaps my email didn't go through.     A few days ago I set the shawl aside to work on the short toe socks. (Also, I had finished the small amount of yarn on one cone and begun working from the much larger full cone.) Working on the third pair today. I'll finish the one I started on the way to supper tonight, then work some more on the shawl again tomorrow. Oh! And I mistakenly stated that Sockotta was cotton. Well, it is, partly. It is a 40% cotton, 45% wool, 15% nylon blend.     Thesis? What thesis?? Cyn

Friday, September 22, 2006

let red be the color of warmth

    Several years ago an online friend of mine told me how for one month every year she dedicates herself to charity knitting. It's not that she doesn't do charity knitting any other time of the year, but for one month everything she knits is for charity. (I believe she did this in January.)     What got me thinking about this was my blog reading yesterday. One of the links in my blogroll is to "Knitting for Change." Another is sweet Mary Anne's "Miss Woolly Knits." On these two blogs I found entries about and links to the Red Scarf Project. Thinking it had to do with either the American Heart Association's Go Red or the National Health Institute's Red Dress initiatives, I checked it out. But it isn't about that kind of heart disease.     This is an outreach project of the Orphan Foundation of America for college students who have "aged out" of foster care. Specifically these scarves are to be included in care packages for the students at Valentine's. If you are a Lily Chin fan, you'll find she is part of this project and has created this pattern. (A Google search for red scarf project patterns turns up more patterns.)     Stopping by Mossy Cottage Knits yesterday as well, I discovered that the Dulann Project 2007 has just launched. This one is close to my heart, as it goes hand-in-hand with my own effort, KniTibet -- soon to be relaunched.     You'll see that the sidebar has been updated to include buttons for these two worthy projects. Cyn


    For two reasons:     1) Took the GRE today, so that is finally done and off my mind. I didn't do great, but I didn't do so badly either. Verbal: 610 and Quantitative: 670.     2) Through the grapevine I discovered both jobs at the library have been filled (from within). So, it's back to watching the job postings. At least I won't worry about "time off" for Seminar.     I finished another pair of short toe socks while I was waiting for Son#2 to get out of class. These work up very fast and I should soon have the number of pairs I want for Christmas gifts.     Our cool weather got warmer yesterday and today. About noon yesterday I had to close the windows and turn on the A/C again. Maybe the first day of Autumn will bring back the cooler temps.     more later, probably, Cyn

Thursday, September 21, 2006


    It was nearly dusk when I arrived home from yoga class this evening. The sunlight was warm and as I got out of the truck, I saw again the spider lilies my sweet hubby had pointed out to me last night. I grabbed the digital camera and took some pictures. On my way back into the house, I noticed the white ginger was also blooming. Then looking around to see if there were any other flowers blooming, I caught sight of one of my favorites, Rose of Sharon (or Althea). So, here are a few beauties of nature, in keeping with my mood following a strenuous class.

Namaste, Cyn

triple play

    I've always been a big fan of I buy most of my textbooks and often other books through it. In August I purchased four textbooks and two other non-fiction books, all from different sellers. Only ONE book ever arrived. The no-ship sellers never responded to email inquiries. Today I logged on to file claims and learned two distressing facts:     1) Only one claim may be filed per month, and only three total by any buyer -- forever (unless there are some kinds of special circumstances, upon which they don't elaborate). Oh, and of course, you only have 60 days from purchase to file said claim, and you can't file a claim until 30 days after purchase. "You do the math."     2) Three of the four sellers (the fourth purchase is only $6 but these three are for textbooks and total over $200) and no longer registered members of eBay/! That tells me there's probably nothing they will be able to do for me anyway.     This is really the first time I recall being burned by a seller in all the years I have shopped there. And now four times in a single month!     So, first I emailed customer service. But I don't really expect to receive any help. Then I called the bank to ask how to file a dispute. They said once the dispute is filed, they will "temporarily" credit the amount back to me, but depending up on the investigation, that amount could be debited again. Oh joy.     Happy Thursday! Cyn (who is taking the GRE tomorrow morning at 8:30CDT)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

finally! knitting content & photos

    One of the things I like best about living in the South is wearing sandals and flip-flops for much more of the year than when I lived in Maryland. I don't know if I was always like this or if it is the material flip-flops are made from now, but often they hurt my feet. They rub the skin between my toes and under the straps. So, when Rissa showed me these (it's a PDF so give it a moment to download), I knew I had to make them.     This first attempt is not with the recommended yarn, but with Sockotta. The called-for yarn is Regia Stretch, a wool blend; Sockotta is cotton.
    I will probably undo the bind off row of the toes and do it a little tighter. It sort of flairs out. Next pair I will make the big toe part a couple of rows longer.     In the meantime, I ordered some Regia Stretch... but now that I have it I am not sure I will use it for these! It is such a yummy yarn, I want it for regular socks. Cyn

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

yoplait & lean cuisine for komen

    I picked up a little magazine today in Wal-Mart which I'd never seen before, called All You. Curiously there was a big section on diabetes (which wasn't noted on the cover). Also, inside was this ad:
    I've never been able to develop a taste for yogurt (except for the frozen kind), but I do like to support breast cancer research. The fine print of the ad is probably difficult to read, so just click on the photo to go to the webpage with the details. This collection effort runs until December 31st, and the pink lid containers were supposed to start showing up in stores on September 1st.     Lean Cuisine is also doing a donation-per-package-sold promotion. (Again, just click on the photo for details.)

TOO early for all this!

A little housekeeping first. About the LC's Current Reads in my sidebar. Have removed Missing Mary and the Kirkegaard Anthology because I dropped the classes for which they were required. Malinche, however, I stopped reading. I may be wrong, but it seems her timeline is all screwed up and I just can't get past it. I *know* it is fiction, but when you claim things to be well-researched and factually-based and they are obviously messed up . . . uh . . . hm . . . that's the argument critics take with DaVinci Code, isn't it? Hm. Perhaps I'll reconsider. Just as well, I only have two new ones to add anyway: a book I bought at MS Pagan Pride day last Saturday, by Rama Berch, Yoga in Every Moment: Contemplations of a Yogi in the Midst of Life, and Mood Cure by Julia Ross. Dr. Ross also wrote Diet Cure, which my sister gave me a few years ago. Both are excellent resources for looking at how manipulating brain chemistry through nutritional supplements can affect our behavior and physiology.     As of last night, I had a whopping 73 participants in my sleep study! That's about 25 more in the last day. I'll be logging those and churning out the emails for the second phase all morning -- should have done it last night instead of reading blogs and knitting! But as my husband was about, oh, 5 hours later coming home from work than I expected him, my mind was just a little preoccupied with other matters. Like being aggravated. And hungry. But mostly worried as I knew they were working in Chalmette.     At least Brickle comes to sit by me when the Big Guy is not home at night. The knitting? Well, I'm doing the last round on the knitting tote; then I'll seam the bottom and add the handles to finish. I also added another section on a Sidewinder hat of pink Kiss and NoBo novelty yarns -- that's AFTER I pulled out the best part of a (if not the whole) 12-row section because I lost my place and can't "read" the knitting because of the fluffy Kiss yarn! I am making this one a bit bigger than the others I have made for KniTibet. This one is for me as it is all acrylic (we need wool for KniTibet hats, scarves and gloves).     Speaking of Tibet, I read a wonderful column from the Syndey Morning Herald earlier today. But I can't find a link on the newspaper website, so the only way I could share it would be to cut-and-paste it into my blog. Not a good idea. I'll keep trying to find it online. I would like to share it.     Time to run hubby to work, Cyn

new hope?

    Late this evening, I checked the job postings at the university. I usually do this a couple times a week, and almost always on Mondays. I'm guessing that the last day I looked was last Wednesday, because tonight there are two new postings for positions at the library. One was listed last Thursday and the other was posted today. I immediately applied for both, wrote my former supervisor to find out who the supervisors are (and hopefully she will provide other juicy details), and now... well, now I'm in anticipation mode.     So, cross your fingers or say a prayer -- not so much for getting the job as for IF I get the job being able to have off the week of Seminar for which I have already paid, and for the trip to Tibet next May for which I paid TODAY my non-refundable deposit! Cyn

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


    Every once in a while these odd thoughts come to me: I wish there was an option on blogs to invert the order of the posts. You go to a new blog, you scroll to the bottom and then work your way up. Not a big deal, but an invert option would be nice. Cyn

Saturday, September 09, 2006


    Didn't go with Son#2 on Friday. However, Monday or Tuesday I will have to go to campus to collect my letters of recommendation for TWU, and be sure the ones for USM are forwarded on time.     I pulled a real "old woman's" trick: showed up on Friday at 4:30 for my first yoga class, which was actually on Thursday!     Came to Jackson for EGA by myself this month. Roofers are supposed to come this week, and hubby wants to get the prickly bushes trimmed back and the yard mowed, and all the other yards mowed that he is behind on (because he didn't do them last weekend or yesterday). Regardless, it was a nice drive. I have been a bit blue the latter part of this week. I am going to have to be very careful about light and activity to keep from getting depressed. On the way to Jackson, I seemed to revive a bit, even getting a couple of ideas for needlework projects.     So, here I am, relaxing with friends. Same friends as a year ago, but, thankfully in a very different situation. Interestingly, gas prices have dropped to just about what it was pre-Katrina. Cyn

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

not all play

    Tonight I worked out the last of the details and got all the links setup to unveil my little sleep study. My advisor let me know yesterday that he had received final approval from the IRB. So, I made the final updates to the survey, to the listing and to the website and clicked that "display" option to add my survey to the schedule. Now we'll see how long and how many students are willing to participate.     Earlier today I ran errands, including getting a LOT of blood drawn for some medical tests. I thought just A1C and lipids, but I was wrong. There was a whole slew of them, including thyroid. So, I should know next week whether he will keep me on the Glucophage. Tonight, I have done some knitting on the tote bag; I will be at the half-way point before I go to bed (shortly). Tomorrow, I have a set of DVD's ("Lost Civilizations") to watch that are overdue to the library. Friday is Son#2's short day, so I think I will ride with him to the university, return my overdues, and check with my other 'recommenders' to see if their letters are ready for me to pick up.     And, in case anyone is wondering, no, I did not prepare supper tonight. Unless tearing open a package of tuna and mixing in some mayo counts! Cyn P.S.   Any one who wants the following hair dye, drop me an email--trading for wool yarn for KniTibet would be nice. I tried a lighter shade this last time I colored and am happier with it, so I have these left from bargain shopping:
L'oreal Superior Preference 4A Dark Ash Brown - Cooler L'oreal Superior Preference 5AM Medium Amber Brown Revlon ColorSilk 41 Medium Brown (I have two of these) Clairol Nice & Easy Root Touch-up #4 Dark Brown Clairol Loving Care Color Creme 82 Dark Warm Brown
The first four are "Level 3, Permanent Haircolor" and the last is "Level 1, Lasts 6-12 Shampoos."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

the deed is done

    For better or worse, I made major changes in my current life today. I dropped all my classes except for the one hour for my honors thesis. I had to jump through a couple of hoops to make it happen, but (at this point) it is all settled.     About a week ago I discovered I would need to do about five substitutions/corrections to meet the degree requirements for the second major. I discussed it briefly with my 'mentor' and advisor at the university on Tuesday. While talking with him, he returned my sandalwood Buddhist rosary, which he had carried with him to Tibet where it was blessed in the Jokang Temple in Lhasa. When I took hold of it from him--I know this is going to sound so hokey--I got this odd feeling. A feeling of change, of needing to re-evalute, and I remember thinking this, but not really knowing to what the feeling to change would apply. It was a very calming feeling though.     Over the next couple days, several things happened... I don't remember exactly what happened on what day. I pulled out all the paperwork to apply for the changes to meet the new degree plan. I realized it would be weeks before I would know if the substitutions were accepted, and by then, it could be too late to drop the classes. Even more important, I realized on Friday that academic penalty for dropping was NOT the most important consideration at the moment: financial penalty WAS. According to the catalog, the deadline was 10 days following the beginning of the semester. That is tomorrow!     I began to question myself seriously as to how I was going to manage to accomplish all I would need to do over the next few months, and I also forced myself to ask why I wanted the second major. And other than the love I have for the subject matter, and how compelling I find the study of it, there really is NO reason for me to pursue the second major. It would benefit me little if any, and if I failed to make an A in each class, it could be actually cost me GPA points, and my latin designation at graduation.     I emailed two of my most trusted friends for advice. After detailing everything, I basically asked them whether they could find a reason for me NOT to drop, if they could discover something in my reasoning that I had overlooked. Neither did. By the time I heard from them both, I felt my decision was made and I felt very calm and confident it was the right thing to do... and today I did it.     The only really bad/sad part is that because I am no longer a full-time student, I can not work at the library. It was difficult to tell my supervisors, but they were both very understanding and supportive.     So, I'm sort of a home-body again. I will most likely have to go to campus once a week for a meeting with my thesis advisor, but otherwise, I'm cut loose until December. I expect to have some "post-partum" effects, and have already warned family to be patient... I feel a little lost over holidays from class as it is. (Or rather, has been.) Oh! One set of letters of recommendation for gradschool, sealed and delivered to me today... three more to go. And I will be taking the GRE in early October.

Just cause I wanted to post a picture.
    In other news, I tried again this afternoon, unsuccessfully, to find Theresa's new shop. I will just have to email her for specific directions. I picked up the blue #5 pearl cotton (and a fresh skein of the same shade of cotton floss) for my seminar piece at Hobby Lobby. They didn't have #8 in DMC415 and I don't know if what I have will be enough. I'll look for it in Jackson. Or maybe email the teacher to see if a full ball is required.     I think I'll knit a bit tonight, and maybe start on the outlining for the seminar piece. Gosh, I haven't really worked on canvas for years!     Supper for me tonight will probably be tuna, cheese, and crackers. Hubby had a "big sandwich" late in the day because he thought he was going to have to work late. That's something else that will be changing: being home, I will feel like I should prepare supper. Oh joy. But then, "feel like" doesn't mean "will." Lordy, I am SO lazy! Cyn [who seems to be stuck for the present at 154 lbs, for those who might be curious]

Sunday, September 03, 2006

after 371 days

Today did not exactly end as I expected . . .     We had not yet seen Pirates of the Caribbean (2) and when I checked the listings while at work yesterday, it was no longer showing during the afternoons in H'burg, but it was in G'port. So we made a plan to go down there today. Son#1 came along. Great, fun flick. Then we went to Applebee's. Not sure about hubby & son, but my supper was really good and it was the fastest I have ever been served in an Applebee's!     The unexpected happened when we left the restaurant. Hubby turned not left, toward home, but right, heading toward the beach. My heart sank. He did ask me if I wanted him to turn around, but I said it was okay. He wanted to see for himself. He's been over south of New Orleans (Hopedale), where there is nothing left, he's been in Chalmette, where there is nothing left... he wanted to drive by Beach Road over to Bay Saint Louis. (Well, you can't get to BSL any more from Beach Road, duh. I think we knew that, but had forgotten.)     As so many others have noted, it is almost impossible to know where you are, to know even where things *used* to be. When we got to the USMMGCC, I was truly shocked at the amount of missing buildings. To see empty lot after empty lot, where the grandest and the simplest of beach homes used to stand, and only a very few with even a FEMA trailer sitting upon either sandy ground or bare slab, even fewer rebuilt or even signs of rebuilding...     There is no way to express the sadness and regret, most of all for the lost memories. It's the same feeling I had in 1989, when I came to MS to visit my parents and see the new house they were building where my grandparents home had stood. I was very happy for them, and the new house was great, but at one point I had to excuse myself. I walked around the end of the fence, hidden from everyone and cried my eyes out. What I felt, however, is infinitesimal to what the people of the Gulf Coast have had to endure.     To write about something else now seems thoughtless. Cyn